On Monday the Plymouth Park Board continued the discussion from last month’s request for the Mishawaka Brewers semi-pro team to use Nixon Field next summer.
Shawn Harper and Chuck Bowen told the park board they are the next step once a student graduates from high school and for those in college to play during the summer. Last month they wanted to use the field multiple times but understood the high school team would have priority.
The reason why they want to come to Nixon Field is because of the quality of the facility. They noted that the South Bend Park Department has let the maintenance of their ball fields go to the point where they were afraid someone could get hurt.
There were discussions that both PHS Baseball Coach Wolfe and Athletic Director Delp were not in favor of the idea. It was commented that Coach Wolfe will be starting at U14 and or U15 team next summer who will also be using Nixon Field.
Park Board members also commented that while the field is the park departments, the equipment used to maintain the field is the schools including the concession stand equipment, sound system and the machine to line the field. There was concern of allowing someone else to use the equipment.
At Monday’s meeting they asked to use Nixon Field one Saturday in June and one Saturday in July and hopefully a weekend, maybe the 4th in July for a tournament. The semi-pro team would provide the park department with the required insurance and pay the fee they set to use the field.
Park Board member Laura Mann said he had personally spoken to Coach Wolfe and Athletic Director Michael Delp and asked their thoughts. Mann said, “That’s our first concern. That’s who we are responsible to first. Yes, it is a city owned diamond, but they are number one when it comes to use of that diamond.” She went on to say, “Neither of them are interested in letting this happen. So, I wanted to hear that myself.”
Mann had an additional concern saying, “I had a son who was a college athlete and his coach told him specifically that he wasn’t to do anything in the summer, prior to coming to school each summer that he could end up with him getting hurt so he couldn’t play his season at college.” She asked how many young men would be able to participate if they are going to play college ball.
The guys told the park board they already had the support of Ancilla College and IUSB’s coaches with their program. They also have secured the use of a couple of other fields in the area but no one has a facility as nice as Nixon Field.
After further discussions and comments from a few men who had played for the league several years ago the park board voted to deny their request.
The Mishawaka Brewers said they will still be accepting players from the Plymouth community interested in playing in the summer league.